The Gift of the Magi
By: Kathy
December 18, 2011

Frantically trying to decide what to give your loved one for Christmas this year?  You are not alone.  While some people delight in the season of giving, far too many people go into full-on ‘panic and dread’ mode.  You can be assured there is a great deal of stress that develops in sorting out the discrepancy between the two.  I am reminded of the wonderful story, The Gift of the Magi.

The basis of the story is a young married couple who is nearly penniless at Christmastime.  They each want desperately to please their loved one with a precious gift, but there is no money to do so.  In the end, they each sell their most prized personal possession in order to buy the other a gift.  The gifts more or less cancel each other out with him selling his treasured pocket watch to buy her hair combs for her lovely hair.  She sold her cascading hair to buy him a fob for his precious pocket watch.  When they realize what they had done, they were left with nothing but the love between them.  Interestingly, I think this is a beautiful story, while others find it incredibly sad.

This story touches my heart because I believe gift giving isn’t about money. Oh, I have spent many a Christmas season wandering dead-faced through the mall hoping an idea would jump out at me.  I have had seasons where I spent WAY too much money on my loved ones, but it never felt like enough.  Sadly, I have also pathetically graced the all-night drugstore late on Christmas Eve grabbing anything that would pass for a gift.  What I have come to learn, however, is that when I engage in those behaviors, I am making Christmas about me, not about the ones I love.

Truly great gift giving comes from the heart.  It is about knowing the person.  This is easy in the early stages of a relationship since learning about each other is the primary activity.  After you’ve known someone for awhile, however, it gets difficult.  We already know everything and run out of ideas.  This is when our gift giving comes up short.  We have stopped learning about the other person, or at least stopped paying attention.  We become more worried about how we will look to our loved one than we are about showing them that we love them.

Gift giving isn’t about us!!  Truly great gift giving is about the other person.  Relax your mind, set aside your panic, quit worrying about ‘getting into trouble’ for not having the right gift, and think about the other person.  What has your loved one done this year? What brings your partner joy?  How could their life be easier?  What has your special one always dreamed of?  What touches their heart?  What do they treasure?  Is there something your spouse doesn’t indulge in themselves but encourages others to do?  The perfect gift you are searching for doesn’t appear in this article or on the computer you are reading it from.  It may not even be at the mall, and I am pretty sure it’s not going to be found at the drugstore.  The perfect gift idea can be found inside of your heart, but first you have to switch the focus off of you and onto the one you love.  Learning how to do this every day of the year may indeed be the best gift you could ever give.